Roundtable Discussion: e-Learning and the Anthropology of Social Media
This roundtable discussion focuses upon a recent e-Learning initiative emerging out of the Why We Post project led by Professor Daniel Miller. Funded by the European Research Council, Why We Post examined uses of social media across eight countries. Part of the intention of the project was to make research findings easily accessible to a worldwide audience over digital platforms which resulted in developing an e-learning course for FutureLearn, making short films and publishing open access books.
Moderated by John Postill, three members of the Why We Post team - Daniel Miller, Jolynna Sinanan and Sheba Mohammid - will discuss the design and development of the course based on fifteen months of ethnographic research in diverse field sites. Specifically they will reflect upon the production of videos in each field site in collaboration with research participants, stories of individuals and wider discoveries on uses of social media in relation to themes such as education, politics and inequality. Andrea McLagan will compare the Why We Post initiative with ongoing MOOC developments at RMIT and beyond.
Roundtable participants include:
Daniel Miller is Professor of Anthropology at University College London. He has written and edited thirty-seven books. Recent volumes include The Comfort of Things (2008), Stuff (2010), Tales from Facebook (2011) Migration and New Media (with Mirca Madianou 2012), Consumption and its Consequences (2012) Digital Anthropology (Ed. with Heather Horst 2012), Webcam (with Jolynna Sinanan 2014), Social Media in an English Village (2016) and How the World Changed Social Media (with 8 others 2016).
Jolynna Sinanan is a Vice Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT. Prior to this post, she was a Research Fellow in Anthropology at University College London with the Global Social Media Impact Study, which compared uses of social media across 8 countries. She is currently finishing a book from the study, Social Media in Trinidad (forthcoming, UCL Press) and is also co-author of Webcam (2014, with Daniel Miller).
Sheba Mohammid is a PhD Candidate in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University and the Director of Policy and Implementation at the Global Social Media Impact Study. Sheba has served as ICT policy specialist, digital inclusion coordinator, e-Learning practitioner and e-participation expert in organisations ranging from government to NGOs and academia. She has designed and implemented e-learning initiatives for audiences in over 50 countries across the world.
Andrea McLagan is a Senior Coordinator, Digital Learning Design in the DSC Digital Learning Team. She has extensive experience in online education, including developing a number of MOOCs for Open Universities Australia’s Open2Study platform. In her current role she supports academic staff to develop and deliver technology-enhanced learning, and is working with academics from the Schools of Global, Urban and Social Studies and Media and Communication to develop two MOOCs for FutureLearn.
John Postill is Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow in the Digital Ethnography Research Centre at RMIT University. His publications include Localizing the Internet (2011), Media and Nation Building (2006) and the co-edited volume Theorising Media and Practice (2010, with Birgit Bräuchler) and Digital Ethnography: Principles and Practice (2016, with Sarah Pink, et al).